Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Kites @ Nant-yr-Arian

I was told today that Nant-yr-Arian was snow-bound and neither Caredig Morgan nor the FC Rangers had been able to get to the site to feed the kites for the past two days. This is obviously of great concern with so many birds relying on the expected rations. A quick telephone call to Chris Powell confirmed that he had recently been supplied with meat and could spare a bit. Soon after I collected a box of meat and headed off up the main road which was clear apart from a bit of slush, despite having up to a foot of level snow lying in the fields either side.

At Ponterwyd the odd kite started to appear in the sky and at Nant-yr-Arian somewhere in the region of 150 -200 kites were waiting patiently in the conifers. I quickly cleared a few small patches of snow in which to put the meat which was descended upon by hoards of screaming kites as soon as it touched the ground.

Far from being any criticism of Caredig or the staff at Nant-yr-Arian this event shows just what a commitment feeding the kites is. Caredig has been doing it for many years, undoubtedly helping many kite survive previous spells of bad weather. It does however show how emergency measures are essential should extreme events happen. Particularly in bad weather (either extremes of cold, wet or drought) the kites will rely on food been present and may not go elsewhere to look if it isn't! Hopefully the snowfall has finished for a while and getting around will become a little easier. We will ensure, so long as the main road remains clear, that the kites are fed daily during the remainder of the current cold spell.

Did manage to snap a couple of photos, including one of a leucistic bird, although the light wasn't good.

Also got a (not brilliant) photo of a raven standing on the frozen lake!


  1. We went there in 2008 and the leucistic Kite was there then, I guess it would be the same one. Great shots. Hopefully will be visiting again this year, thoroughly enjoyed it, and found it amazing that a feeding station was so close to Wind Turbines.

  2. I do fear that emergency feeding measures will be the last of the kite’s problems if the proposed wind farm in the Nant-y-Moch area goes ahead.
    Trees are already being felled to make way for the access road that looks to run from the A44, carving through the centre of the Nant-y-Arian complex and out into the as yet unspoilt countryside, even though planning has yet to be passed. No coincidence I’m sure that Caredig’s time running the centre and feeding the kites comes to an end in April with Forestry Commission taking over his duties and making the stealthy closing of the centre's operation a lot easier.